CLEVELAND — Jon Lester has felt pride when slipping on his Boston jersey and cap. Never more than now.
Away from home and family members they worried about during some anxious moments on Monday, the Red Sox are hoping their return to the field Tuesday night will help their wounded city heal after the marathon bombings.
As always, the Red Sox will play for themselves — and all of Boston.
“It really hits home,” Lester said. “Boston’s my home, just like everyone else in this clubhouse. It’s obviously not a good situation, but hopefully like 9/11 we come together as a city again and as a nation and whoever did this make them realize we don’t take kindly to things like this. It really hits home.”
The Red Sox and Indians will wear black armbands to honor the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon’s finish line. Three people were killed and more than 170 were injured in the attacks.
The giant American flag flew at half-staff before the series opener with a moment of silence before Tuesday’s first pitch.
Lester said there was never any discussion about not playing Tuesday’s game.
“I think everybody just assumed we would take the field tonight and be proud to put on that Boston uniform, like we are every day — but especially with everything going on,” he said.
On Monday, the Red Sox had just beaten Tampa 3-2 on an RBI double by Mike Napoli in the ninth inning in the annual Patriots’ Day morning game and were in a bus headed to the airport when they received the first reports of explosions near the finish line.
“We usually have a police escort and they took off without us,” Lester said. “We started asking questions and it started from the front and went to the back.”